For those of you not familiar with the original game both are a cross between a third/first person action game and a real-time strategy game that are multiplayer only. There are two sides to the battle—the humans and the beasts—and the object of the game is to wipe out the opposing side in battle. One player on both teams acts as the Commander and he plays the game as though it were a real-time strategy game. He has a top-down view of the map and he can build structures that allow for additional battle units, weapons, and spells for his warriors to use. He can also recruit workers to harvest resources needed to build the structures. The rest of the players on both teams play as the actual warrior units themselves that go off and beat on the other team. The commander can issue orders to his warriors, but it’s up to those units to decide if they want to actually follow those orders. Teamwork is, of course, essential. The warriors are totally dependent on the commanders to provide them with new units, weapons, etc. and the commander is totally dependent on the warriors to actually do the fighting and defending of the home base. It all works surprisingly well and the original game was a pretty popular addition to the LAN parties the Big Red Monkey held at his abode last winter (soon to restart this fall at a new home).
The sequel brings with it a vastly improved graphic engine with fully dynamic self shadows, higher quality models and animations, bump mapping and pixel shaders, realistic weather system, the ability to ride mounts, and around 20 class-based units and better squad management for officers. You can check out a teaser video of the game in action by clicking here. It looks amazing and I can’t hardly wait for this one to arrive, but I guess I’ll have to. The game’s ETA is sometime in the summer of 2006. Hey, maybe I’ll have a job and can afford it by then!